NASA’s New Horizons zoomed past Pluto in July 2015. It not only captured some stunning pictures of the planet, (Yes, we at Commonplace still hold to the notion that it is, indeed, a planet), but it also took very accurate measurements.
In terms of diameter, Pluto comes in at 1,473 miles (2,370 kilometers). This means it could rest comfortably within the national boundaries of Russia, with its east-to-west width of 6,200 miles (10,000 kilometers) and its north-to-south borders 2,485 miles (4,000 kilometers).
Prior to the New Horizons mission, Pluto’s surface area was thought to be 16,647,940 square kilometers. This would have given it less surface area than Russia, at 17,075,200 square kilometers. With more accurate measuring equipment at its disposal, however, New Horizons gave us a new tally for Pluto’s surface area: 17,646,012 square kilometers.
Astronomers may have downgraded Pluto’s status to that of a dwarf planet, but at least it has the consolation of knowing that slightly beats out Russia in terms of surface area.
Read more fun facts about Pluto.
Read more fun facts about Russia.
Read more fun facts about astronomy.